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Wazza
Sydney  Australia
Posts: 608
Joined: 2005
VC Recommendation for Teddy Sheean
8/10/2020 4:36:55 AM
Exciting news for the Australian Navy after an extremely long and protracted battle:

Tasmanian war hero Teddy Sheean will be recommended for a Victoria Cross medal.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement on Monday in Canberra after last month receiving the findings of a seven-week review.

Sheean was a sailor in WWII that was killed after HMAS Armidale was attacked by Japanese warplanes in the Arafura Sea en route to Timor in 1942. Despite being told to abandon ship, Sheean, 18, was reported to have not left his post and continued to fire his anti-aircraft gun at enemy aircraft. His actions were credited with saving the lives of 49 crew.

I encourage everyone interested to Google the remarkable story of this young sailor.

My only negative point to this is the floodgates will open now for many more retrospective applications for then VC here in Oz. Simpson the man and his donkey wil be one of those. One that in my opinion does not warrant this honor.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
VC Recommendation for Teddy Sheean
8/10/2020 9:04:54 AM
Hello Wazza,

The ship was a Corvette, the venerable plough horse of the escort fleets. It was sturdy and reliable but life on board these vessels was a challenge for the men that served on them.

Was she made in Australia? I know that Australia made 50 or 60 of them.

Check that. I found an article that explains that the ship was Australian made.

It also describes in some detail the brave actions of Teddy Sheehan. I think that others would like to read it.

[Read More]

Cheers,

George
Wazza
Sydney  Australia
Posts: 608
Joined: 2005
VC Recommendation for Teddy Sheean
8/10/2020 5:44:25 PM
Thanks George.

There has been quite a lot of emotion surrounding this particular case, some of it caused by a grandstanding politician supporting the application.

There is now already talk of other vets having retrospective VC applications endorsed by the Gov. Something many feared would happen with Teddys positive review.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
VC Recommendation for Teddy Sheean
8/10/2020 8:30:46 PM
Hello Wazza,

Are the criteria for the Australian VC instituted in 1975, different from those under which Sheehan would have been judged, that is, the Imperial VC?

Also, was Sheehan nominated for the VC after the battle, by any witness? If so, did his unit commander say no? I think that anyone can bear witness to an act of gallantry worthy of a VC but a commander has to sign off on it. If that is incorrect then someone please correct me.

EDIT: I re-read the article and certainly there were many witnesses to the bravery exhibited by Sheehan. I didn't realize that a VC recommendation did not have to be awarded by the British Admiralty. The article said that a Royal Decree in Dec. 1942 permitted Australia to make that recommendation. I wonder why his commander didn't do that.

Cheers,

George

Wazza
Sydney  Australia
Posts: 608
Joined: 2005
VC Recommendation for Teddy Sheean
8/12/2020 10:39:27 PM
There was a lot of petty rivalry in the RAN during WWII, East coast hated West Coast vice versa. The fall out was not many Naval awards were successful for WWII.

Teddy's original application wasn't well written or received hence the knock back.

Subsequent knock backs were for lack of corroborating evidence, the myths surrounding this action became fact (he was firing an Oerl
ikon AA gun whilst underwater for example) and the quite simple what he did was just his duty and warranted a lesser bravery medal!

There is currently 300 demands for retrospective VC medals for Australians. Approx 30 have some credence, but do fit lesser bravery awards. The general public want VC's handed out like good show awards with no thought to how hard this medal should be to earn.


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